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A VERY old friend of mine, andaccording
to the best sense of the wordone of the most
respectable men with whom I have the pleasure
of an acquaintance, is Mr. Richard
Delver. Mr. Delver is excelled by no man in
his parish in the digging of a sewer, or
dissecting out the gas-pipes of a district. Maggie,
his wife, has three little boys, to whom she
used to pay such motherly attention, that
their experience in puddles was inferior to
that of all the other children in their
neighbourhood. All the money that he earned,
except the value of a little beer, used to be
duly brought by Mr. Delver for deposit in
the household purse; and Maggie was to him
a prudent Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Nevertheless, there were no shillings to spare,
and in bad weather there was always debt
contracted at the greengrocer's, to be paid off
when the season mended.

Mr. Delver and his wife had never been
indebted to their parish for assistance; but
they both looked with a misgiving and a sense
of awe at the relieving officer whenever he
went by. Dick might fall sick, or age would
come, and with age loss of independence.

One day, about a twelvemonth since, Dick,
on his way to work, met the two sons of
Widow Broad, in charge of a policeman. Jack
Broad had been a coalheaver, a steady man,
and Dick had very lately been a mourner at
his funeral. He left no will, nor money to
dispose of; and his wife, compelled to labour
for the children's bread, had not the necessary
leisure left to keep them out of evil company.
Dick's heart ached for the little Broads, and
then his head turned to the little Delvers, and
his fancy painted his own Maggie left without
him, after he had been suffocated in a foul
drainwhich might occur; as a similar fate
had occurred, not long ago, to one of his
acquaintance. " I wish that I could see my
way before me," Dick began to ponder to
himself; and in the like spirit pondered
Maggie with him, when he told her that the
little Broads were sent to prison. While
their thoughts were painfully excited in this
manner, a friend of theirs, who was about to
emigrate, infused into their minds, by his
hopeful talk, a wish to follow his example.

Very soon after this wish was formed, Dick
was a truant from his work one day. He was
off to Park Street, Westminster, to see the
Emigration Commissioners.

If red tape were a plant, the Park Street
office would carry off a medal at a flower
show. Dick, who is a rough-looking fellow,
had considerable difficultyto begin within
passing the porter. He waited a whole morning
patiently, and then he saw a clerk, who
asked two or three questions, in a way that
made him feel very uncomfortable, then gave
him a paper to fill up, and said "Call again."

The paperas Mr. Delver said to me, while
telling his own story, (he was then sitting on
the trough of the pump, in my back-yard, where
he was engaged upon a little gas-pipe business),
was a puzzler.

There was one question in it that he did
not like putting to his Maggie at all; and
then, as to the certificate of baptism, why, he
did not exactly know where he was born; it
was in some village in the north, when his
parents were tramping for work. A general
consultation of the whole court could not help
Dick out of his difficulty; even the cobbler,
who was the leading politician, pronounced it
a Government mystification.

Dick went up again to Park Street, and
spent another day there, but his turn did
not come. This was expensive; the two days
cost him six shillings worth of wages. But
he had courage enough to try his fortune a
third time, and after waiting from ten in the
morning until only half-past two, he was at
length ushered into the awful presence of the

Was he an agricultural labourer ? No.
Nor a gardener? No; just a town labourer;
never saw a plough in his life; was married;
had three small children: youngest three
year old.—Was he going to work for wages?
Of course he was, but not longer than he
could help; hoped to get hold of a bit of land
(according as he was told) in a few years.
After a little consultation, Dick was informed
that he was not considered suitable.

This adventure rather damped him; still,
like most people who have only one idea at a
time and who hold that stubbornly, he
continued to spell out or attend to everything
about emigration, until one Sunday he read
in the weekly newspaper about a Mrs.
Chisholm, who was willing to see poor people